from the annals of history unto our current day
The Spiritual Meditations of St. Francis de Sales
from the book, 'Introduction to the Devout Life'
first written for St. Jane Frances de Chantal and now offered to all
Of the End for which we were Created
1. PLACE yourself before God. 2. Ask Him to inspire your heart.
1. God did not bring you into the world because He had any need of you,
useless as you are; but solely that He might show forth His Goodness in you,
giving you His Grace and Glory. And to this end He gave you understanding
that you might know Him, memory that you might think of Him, a will that you
might love Him, imagination that you might realise His mercies, sight that
you might behold the marvels of His works, speech that you might praise Him,
and so on with all your other faculties.
2. Being created and placed in the world for this intent, all contrary
actions should be shunned and rejected, as also you should avoid as idle and
superfluous whatever does not promote it.
2. Consider how unhappy they are who do not think of all this, who live as
though they were created only to build and plant, to heap up riches and
amuse themselves with trifles.
Affections and Resolutions
1. Humble yourself in that hitherto you have so little thought upon all
this. Alas, my God, of what was I thinking when I did not think of Thee?
what did I remember when I forgot Thee? what did I love when I loved Thee
not? Alas, when I ought to have been feeding on the truth, I was but filling
myself with vanity, and serving the world, which was made to serve me.
2. Abhor your past life. I renounce ye, O vain thoughts and useless
cogitations, frivolous and hateful memories: I renounce all worthless
friendships, all unprofitable efforts, and miserably ungrateful
self-indulgence, all pitiful compliances.
3. Turn to God. Thou, my God and Saviour shalt henceforth be the sole object
of my thoughts; no more will I give my mind to ideas which are displeasing
to Thee. All the days of my life I will dwell upon the greatness of Thy
Goodness, so lovingly poured out upon me. Thou shalt be henceforth the
delight of my heart, the resting-place of all my affections. From this time
forth I will forsake and abhor the vain pleasures and amusements, the empty
pursuits which have absorbed my time; the unprofitable ties which have bound
my heart I will loosen henceforth, and to that end I will use such and such
1. Thank God, Who has made you for so gracious an end. Thou hast made me, O
Lord, for Thyself, that I may eternally enjoy the immensity of Thy Glory;
when shall I be worthy thereof, when shall I know how to bless Thee as I
2. Offer. O Dearest Lord, I offer Thee all my affections and resolutions,
with my whole heart and soul.
3. Pray. I entreat Thee, O God, that Thou wouldest accept my desires and
longings, and give Thy Blessing to my soul, to enable me to fulfil them,
through the Merits of Thy Dear Son's Precious Blood shed upon the Cross for
me. OUR FATHER, etc. Gather your little spiritual bouquet.
Return to the First Meditation . . .
Proceed to the Third Meditation